Picture it: You're having the best time with your fiancé picking out barware, kitchen items and more wedding registry must-haves for your newlywed home when suddenly, you see the most to die for handbag. Your inner voice is telling you it’s totally fine to scan and throw onto your registry, but your fiancé is not so into it. Er, what's a bride-to-be to do? Well, there’s one basic guideline to keep in mind when deciding whether including a “personal” item is totally okay or a total faux pas.
“Registries should be personal,” says Jennifer Spector, Zola director of brand strategy and newlywed-at-large. “Guests love you and want to celebrate you, so adding personal items benefits you both. At the same time, registries should be considered part of the wedding, so avoid personal items that are not connected to this special time. That's what birthdays are for!” That said, not all unique registry items are verboten. Read ahead for some personal items you can totally get away with including on your wedding registry.
Clothing (with a Caveat)
It might be tempting to throw some designer duds on to your registry, but clothing only gets a free pass if it’s connected to a couple-y activity. “It is totally fine to ask for gifts that are less traditional — experiences, funds, unusual gifts, are all becoming the norm,” says Spector. “The registry is about your life as a couple, so I would shy away from clothing unless it's for an activity you are doing together — new bike helmets or snow gear for an upcoming ski trip.”
Health and Fitness Activities
If you and your dude love to work up a sweat together (no, not that kind — get your mind out of the gutter!), then registering for workout classes or equipment is a no-brainer. “One of our fastest growing categories is health and wellness, especially fitness…My husband and I registered for boxing classes and it was a great way to relieve some of our stress together before the wedding!” Spector says. Josh Brooks, co-founder of Jung Lee NY, echoed that thought, saying that your registry should “tie back to who the couple is and how they live their life.” That means if you spend most weekends kayaking or hiking with your honey, including equipment related to those activities is A-OK.
If your living space is looking really bare, you may want to consider adding some artwork or luxury area rugs that could spice up your home. “Couples don’t always think to register for furniture or artwork, or they shy away because of the high price tag,” Spector says. “Register for a Gray Malin print or a Jonathan Adler sofa and you can enable group gifting so your friends and family can contribute as much or as little as they want.”
According to Brooks, registries are meant to help a couple form a home together. However, what that means has changed in this day and age, with many couples living together before they get hitched, or marrying more than once, he says. If you have an awesome backyard where you spend a lot of your time, maybe a hammock is just what you need to take your kickbacks to the next level. Same goes for a bad-ass grill or outdoor lights you’ve been lusting after. “If that’s something that matters to [a couple], that’s the part they get excited about,” Brooks says, adding that as a gift giver “you want [your gift] to have soul and meaning to it.”
If you’re a big wine-lover or foodie, you may want to keep the good times rolling even after your big day. (So when food and cake tastings are done-zo you won’t have to stop indulging!) That’s where a wine subscription or meal plan can come into the picture. If it fits your personality, don’t sweat it — your guests will get where you’re coming from, experts say. “Your registry is an opportunity to showcase your taste as a dynamic duo, and also to fill your home with gifts and experiences you will really use,” Spector says. “Your guests (hopefully) know you well enough to connect with what you registered for, whether it be camping equipment or a restaurant dining subscription.”